The heart is responsible for pumping oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the body
Your heart and its blood supply
The heart, as we know, is situated in the chest cavity on the left side. But what we need to know is, it is a muscle which supplies blood to the entire body. So, every organ gets energy and nutrients through this oxygen mixed blood supplied by the heart.
The heart pumps blood through the network of arteries and veins called the cardiovascular system. A normal resting heart rate should be 60–1001 beatsper minute, but it can vary from person to person.
Coronary arteries keep the heart going
Heart has two main coronary arteries: Left and Right coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle.
Left main coronary artery (LMCA). The LMCA supplies blood to the left side of the heart muscles. It again divides into
- The left anterior descending artery (LAD), which supplies blood to the front of the left side of the heart
- The circumflex artery (LCX), which encircles the heart muscle, supplying blood to the outer side and back of the heart
Right coronary artery (RCA) along with left anterior descending artery, supply blood to the middle part of the heart. Any interruptions in the blood supply of the heart muscle due to blockage of coronary artery, will cause coronary artery disease (CAD) or a heart attack.
Your heart receives its blood supply via blood vessels called the coronary arteries. In coronary artery disease (CAD), the blood flow to the heart is reduced because of the blockages in these vessels This results in reduced oxygen supply to the heart. It may cause mild to severe chest pain, called angina. This pain can spread to the arms or jaw. Such an event could happen during stressful times, physical activities such as work or exercise, or even at rest. Other symptoms that may accompany chest pain are dizziness, palpitations, and excessive sweating (cold sweat). When a part of the heart muscle is damaged because of a blocked artery, it iscalled a heart attack. It has been observed that as compared to men, women are more likely to experience symptoms other than chest pain, particularly shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting and back or jaw pain2. Anyone who experiences chest pain or signs of a heart attack should seek medical help as soon as possible.
Chest pain may not mean a heart attack every time
Sometimes chest pain can also occur because of reasons other than coronary artery disease or heart attacks3. There are other organs in the chest, like your lungs, the food pipe, blood vessels, muscles, and bones. In many people, inflammation of the food pipe because of excess acid reflux from the stomach can cause chest pain. Non-cardiac pain could also result from muscular pain because of a strain or could also result from anxiety or stress. Whenever there is an unusual pain in the chest and adilemma around the origin of this pain, an ECG or Electrocardiogram is an important first step to reach a diagnosis.
Any unusual chest pain should alert you to take early steps to rule out a heart attack2. One must know the symptoms. Even if you are not sure whether it’s a heart attack, reach out for help. Time is of the essence for treating heart attacks. Fast action can save lives. Call your local Emergency Services if you experience any warning signs of a heart attack. A trained emergency medical services (EMS) team can begin treatment when they arrive.
If there is limited access to the EMS services in your area, get help to reach the nearest medical centre as soon as possible.
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